Entrepreneur Life: The Two Questions You Should Always be Asking

So you have purchased your domain and hosting site, and all your content is up and ready to go! One thing I have learned along this journey is that there are two questions that I constantly ask myself and other entrepreneurs. Those two questions are “Why and How.”

How in the world?

How can I get all this work done? That’s a question I often ask myself, but then I lift that 50 pound weight off my shoulders, and prioritize and categorize the things I would like to accomplish in a given day.  Sometimes my to-do lists crosses over two pages, and although it may seem overwhelming (which by the way I have found this word to be used frequently  by entrepreneurs) I have decided to focus on what can be accomplished in a day; instead of what cannot. Meditating or journaling at the end of the day to highlight your accomplishments will help you to visually see what you have completed that day. It’s important to celebrate your wins because it will help you to achieve your goals!

How can I raise my number of followers?

According to researchers, there are many ways to increase your social media following. Taking photos with additional lighting might lead to potential followers liking your pictures. Also, if you are taking a picture of a product, you should position the product at different angles, and consider using a white sheet of paper as the backdrop for your product. The white backdrop gives the lighting something to bounce off of, which will enhance the overall look of your picture. Another way to increase your followers is by using hashtags that relate to brand or you personally. Hashtags make it easier for followers to find topics that interest them. Iconosquare is a website that pulls statistics for your Instagram account. It provides information about your posts such as: which picture was shared; which one was the most  popular, and which hashtags you received the most followers and likes.

Why Oh Why?

Why do I want to do this? When you are able to answer the question, Why do I  want to do this, then the how becomes so much easier! Everything will fall into place when you have a clear understanding as to why you embarked on this journey in the first place!
What are two questions you ask yourself as an entrepreneur?

5 Things I Wish I knew Before Starting My Website

Since starting this blog back in late August, there were so many things I wish I knew before-hand, but I am still learning. I decided to share some of the key points I’ve learned along the way with you.

                                                         What’s a domain?

A domain is what you name your website. Purchasing your website’s domain allows your site to be recognized as a dot.com, net, edu, and org. If you are looking into purchasing your website’s name some websites that offer this service are www.godaddy.com and www.namecheap.com.

                                                         What’s a hosting site?

Once you have selected your website’s name, all you have to do is select your hosting site. There are many hosting websites out there such as: www.bluehost.com, www.hostgator.com, www.godaddy.com, and www.siteground.com. Before purchasing your hosting site, I highly recommend doing a google search for coupon codes for that hosting site, or try www.retailmenot.com to save some coins on your site especially, if you are using www.godaddy.com.

                                                     Why is your template important?

Selecting the right template for your website is crucial because readers decide within  minutes whether they are buying what you are selling or not. Depending on which hosting site you chose, they will offer a wide variety of free WordPress templates, but if you are not satisfied with your selection, their are some websites that sell templates.

                                                        Creating Categories

After writing your article, you hit publish, and you think you’re done! NO! I have learned the hard way how important categories are, and how they help readers’ locate past articles that are relevant to them.

                                                       Do Your Research

Doing your research is crucial regardless of the field you’re in because it will ultimately save you money and time in the long run. Some things you may have to delegate to a virtual assistant, or a computer savvy individual, or use a website such as www.fiverr.com to delegate a particular task such having a banner or a graphic designed.

Overall, the one thing that I have learned from blogging is that you have to be in a constant state of openness, and willingness to receive information and advice from experts. Under no circumstances do you have to take those individuals feedback, but what I have learned is to only value the information that will actually help my business grow from people who have been in that position, or people who have the credentials to support the knowledge they are sharing with me. Listen to the feedback and advice and take away from those conversations what you need!

Big Magic: Tapping into Creativity & Fear

 

                                           Relax and the fear relaxes too. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Two weeks ago, I attended a book reading at BAM for Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Big Magic. Big Magic is a self-help book, where Elizabeth shares her experiences with creativity, and why fear is a part of the creative writing process.

During her reading, Gilbert discussed the importance of acknowledging fear and its presence because “if you don’t acknowledge fear you won’t be able to do something interesting with it.”  When you acknowledge your fears and categorize them it puts you in a position of power. It can be easy to allow our fears to consume us, but if we set limitations on our fears it can be a springboard for creativity to form.

Acknowledging the presence of our fears helps us to set boundaries around it. Scientists have proven that fear is an evolutionary trait that protects us from dangerous situations. For example, fear stops us from stepping over the yellow line on a subway platform, because crossing over the line would mean falling onto the train tracks. Also, fear stops us from touching a hot stove with a boiling pot of water because if we touch it we’ll get burnt. Although our fears help to protect us, it also teaches us valuable lessons along the way.

I left the reading that night feeling so inspired with the passage Gilbert read, and the interview/discussion she gave afterwards with the playwright, Sarah Jones. I signed up for audible.com, and I downloaded Big Magic. There’s something about her voice, and how she directs the words from the page and brings them to life, that makes me only want to listen to her books on audio. So far, one of my favorite chapters in the book is where she discusses the pressures we place on ourselves as artists. She gives the example of college students getting degrees to validate themselves and their writing. She goes into detail on the various demands that we place on our creativity, and force it to pay our bills, and in some cases once it has we think it will happen again. But that simply isn’t the way creativity works. Gilbert’s states that she worked various jobs until the success of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. When you work various jobs you create a space for creativity to form, and you lessen the burden of your financial needs. According to Gilbert, lifting the financial burden from your creativity and working “for the man for a while”, will ultimately create a fortress for your creativity to blossom and grow!

What are your thoughts on creativity? Have you ever used your fears as part of  your creative process?

Continuing Education: How to Develop Your Skills After College

You graduated from college, and your degree hangs above your desk, but you still haven’t landed your dream job. College helped you develop your skills to get into the field of your choice, but it hasn’t helped you to devise a plan on getting there. That’s where your creativity, research, and determination will come into play.

A few months ago, a Linkedin user commented on the Binghamton University career forum, stating that it took him a long time to find a job after graduating from college. He applied to countless jobs and received no reply. One day he decided to print out a stack of his resumes, and sit down next to the checkout counter at Starbucks. He said that over a dozen customers stopped him and asked about his degree and experience; some even interviewed him on the spot. Many were amazed by his courage to ask for what he wanted.

Although he was unable to get a job offer that day, one customer gave him his business card, and told him to call him later. It turned out that the customer was in the same field the man wanted to get into. After speaking with the businessman, he told him that he couldn’t offer him a job because he did not have enough experience, but he would mentor him, and help him find a job in that field. Several interviews later, he got a job he was truly passionate about, and the businessman from Starbucks was the reference that he used to get the job! Landing and keeping the job of your dreams requires more than a fancy resume, it requires being resilient when you are faced with adversity, and finding the right resources to help you reach your career goals.

Doing your research to see which skills are in demand will help you to achieve your highest level of success. Utilizing websites such as www.lynda.com and www.youtube.com for tutorials on various web programs can enhance your resume. Lynda.com is a website that provides users access to thousands of instructional tutorials ranging from excel 2013, introduction to Graphic Design, ios app development and many more. Websites like these help you to development your skills and strengthen your resume.

Also, hiring career coaches or monetization strategists can help you pinpoint the areas you need to improve, and show you how to capitalize on your skills. Nicole Walters, a monetization strategist of www.monetizethyself.com, gives clients actionable and quantifiable steps to live the life they have always wanted! Nicole offers classes on her website ranging from how to set up your own Amazon store, increase your credit score, and many more. Adeea R. Rogers is a business consultant, who helps clients find their purpose. After taking a class with Adeea you will have a notebook filled with actionable steps to fulfill your dreams.

Thinking outside the box helped that Binghamton alumni find a job in the field he wanted.  Learning never stops once your professor has ended their lecture! The learning continues with you seeking out the resources you need to help you succeed in the job market.

How has creativity played a factor in your job search?

Relection Room: How I Found Inspiration In the Checkout Aisle

Today marks the 20th post for this blog, and as I continue to build my editorial calendar for the remainder of this year, I am trying my best to bring you all content that provides information that is thought provoking! I love when I hear my family and friends say “Aha, I never would have thought of it that way, but after reading your blog, it all makes sense now.” It brings a great sense of joy to me as I continue to work on fulfilling my dreams. Sometimes before writing a blog post, I have the title even before I can work its angle. Trying to find inspiration when you constantly have to produce against a tight deadline can prove to be challenging, but drawing inspiration from everything around you will surely help you to hit that reset button and get your creativity flowing again.

A few weeks ago, while waiting in the express checkout aisle at my local Supermarket, a teenage girl was paying for her items as her family waited to the side. The cashier told her the total amount. She looked down at her items and removed the bottle of apple juice. She paid the cashier and grabbed her bags. She exited and placed the bags on the floor, as she waited for her parents. A man in his 70s was next in line, and he asked the cashier, Is this the only thing she didn’t get? The cashier nodded, “Yes”. Well I’ll pay for it, the man said reaching into his wallet. The cashier called out to the girl and said, This man paid for your apple juice. The girl smiled, and thanked the man. The man replied, Just enjoy it! The woman standing behind the man said, “That was really nice of you, you didn’t have to do that.” I wanted too, the man replied.

This random act of kindness really moved me because I am a firm believer that the more you give, the more you will receive. I am inspired to write about everything and share it with you all, even if it’s how to wing out your eyeliner, bleach your brows, relieve stress, or how to use Periscope. Creativity comes in all forms, and in my experience using everything that is around as a source of inspiration is a springboard for more things to come!

What are some things that inspire you?

Scoping Your Way to Glory:  What is Periscope? 2 Ways You can Use it To Elevate Your Platform

Scoping Your Way to Glory: What is Periscope? 2 Ways You can Use it To Elevate Your Platform

Social media is constantly changing with various apps and programs, but Twitter’s latest addition called Periscope is standing the test of time. Periscope is a live video streaming service that allows users to broadcast their content worldwide. Currently, Periscope has over 9 million followers and growing. Once you click their blue teardrop icon and select broadcast live, you will have a live stream with an audience. Since Periscope is owned by Twitter, your broadcast automatically sends a message to your followers that you are broadcasting live, and the topics you’re discussing. Periscope users create scopes on anything ranging from makeup tutorials, how to monetize your business, how to build a website, natural hair, motherhood, and much more. Periscope has shaken the social media game up, and challenged its competitors by creating a user friendly platform, where creators can broadcast, market, and monetize their brand.

A baby cries for the first time in his mother’s arms, as she sings him the lullaby Oh How Lovely is the Morning. His father types Hi, Buddy. I love you so much! I remember when you were as a tiny as a bean in mommy’s tummy. I wish I was there; I can’t wait to hold you! Sometimes daddy is stationed in different places across the world, while serving and protecting our country. I love you so much! Stories like this can be broadcasted live on Periscope, and in this scenario the family could have set this scope to be private, so only specific family members could view it.  Additionally this couple could pitch this scope to Hallmark for a Superbowl commercial, and get that brand to pay them every time the commercial airs. The marketing possibilities for your brand on Periscope are endless!

According to the amazing income strategist,entrepreneur, and owner of monetizethyself.com Nicole Walters, “Periscope is a running commercial for your brand.” During her scope Nicole, also known as Scoprah gives viewers actionable and quantifiable steps to monetize their life. After watching a scope with Scoprah, you will have several pages of notes leading you in the right direction to make your coins multiply.

Today Periscope released several updates for its IOS users. Now Scopers can share their broadcast on Facebook and Youtube. All scopes last for 24 hours, unless the user saves and uploads it to another social media platform. This update allows creators to record their scopes in landscape or portrait mode, and with these options people can easily view scopes from their TV’s and Ipad’s.

So you’re probably wondering what are the best ways to use Periscope to elevate your brand. The best way to utilize Periscope is to choose topics that you’re passionate about. Look at Periscope like your walking into a meeting that has all the best elements because your the CEO of that cast. Outline some notes before making your broadcast, but don’t rehearse; instead use your notes as a guideline to keep the content going in the direction you want it to. The possibilities with Periscope are endless, and the best thing about it is you can discuss anything you want with anyone around the world!

Who are some Periscopers that you follow?

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